Dons have plenty in tank, blank Dos Pueblos

Santa Barbara quickly put to rest any doubts it would come out flat for its second crosstown rivalry boys soccer game in three days.

The Dons got a couple of exquisite goals from Sachio Badham and Alfredo Ibarra in the first half and managed the game the rest of the way to record a rare victory at Dos Pueblos, 2-0, in a Channel League match on Thursday night.

“I don’t have any idea the last time we won here, it’s been a while,” Santa Barbara coach Todd Heil said. “I’m excited, the boys played really well. I thought we played really well in the first half. We controlled the first half. It was similar to what we did to San Marcos on Tuesday.”

It was 13th shutout of the season for the Dons (13-4-3, 3-0-0), who also blanked San Marcos, 1-0. Dos Pueblos falls to 0-3, 6-13.

“It’s a tough, having to play SM and DP in the same week, but managing two shutouts, I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Heil. “(The players) were not emotionally drained (from the San Marcos game). They were pumped up and excited and it showed, especially in the first half.”

Dos Pueblos created the first dangerous scoring chance of the match. In the ninth minute, Lalo Arce got behind the defense and ran onto a long ball from Alfredo Barragan. But Arce hit his shot wide.

Santa Barbara dominated the rest of the way.

“The first part of the game we came out strong and we had some scoring chances,” DP coach Matt York said. “Maybe we put one of those in the back of the net and it give us some momentum that we ride.

“I thought we played, for the most part, a pretty good game,” he added. “We had a couple of mental lapses, which cost us the two goals there.”

Santa Barbara took the lead in the 14th minute after a clumsy foul by the Chargers just outside the penalty area on the left side. On the ensuing free kick, Alec Larson hit a low ball to Badham, who cleverly back-heeled it through a crowd of players and inside the far post.

“He likes his little flicks,” Heil said of Badham. “He’s a very technical player and he likes to do some fancy things inside the 18.”

Ibarra set up another great chance in the 24th minute. He dribbled up the middle and fed a diagonal ball to a wide-open Matt Medina on the right. Medina, however, hit his shot wide of the far post.

Ibarra wouldn’t miss on his best opportunity of the night. With his back to goal, he took a square pass from Alex Navarro in the box, turned on a DP defender and smashed a left-footed golazo past the defenseless goalkeeper.

“Freddy got a nice turn on him and was able to finish it,” said Heil

Dos Pueblos created some chances in the second half, but Santa Barbara played solid on defense. Midfielder Alberto Hernandez made a great play covering for goalkeeper Elvis Mancilla on a Barragan free kick, racing back and clearing the ball off the goal-line in the 52nd minute.

Twelve minutes later, Mancilla made a two-handed volleyball-style block on a rising shot  by Omar Montalvo.

York is waiting for someone on his team to step up and be a go-to guy for goal scoring.

“Other than the Ventura game (a 5-0 loss), we’ve been close in every game,” York said. “If we had a goal in the beginning of the game, who knows how this game turns out. I’m frustrated of the inability of our team to take some shots. It puts a lot of pressure on our defense when you don’t score consistently.”

Despite the loss, York lauded the play of freshman goalkeeper Alex Matthews. “He played a fantastic game. I want to praise his effort,” said the coach.